at bank of the west, ivanovic wins + tsf to make an appearance

Props to Ana Ivanovic for getting through her first-round match against the hard-hitting Alisa Kleybanova at the Bank of the West Classic, happening this week in Stanford, Calif. (Vid: Ana’s presser)

The Serbian has had a rough couple of months, losing super-early on the clay of Madrid and Roland Garros (to Kleybanova), plus on grass at ‘s-Hertogenbosch and Wimbledon. Her next opponent at this hardcourt event will be the winner of Bartoli vs. Harkleroad (Draw: Singles).

And speaking of, Nick will covering the event on-site tomorrow, so look out for tweets and posts. (Welcome to California!)

Buy: adidas adilibria shoes, $110, adidas.com

One more: Another look at her shoes after the cut…->

in lacko, diadora lives on

Lukas Lacko is playing an opening round match against the Latvian Ernests Gulbis at this week’s Farmers Classic in Los Angeles. While it’s not as crazy as the days of Guga Kuerten, the Diadora kit still has a slew of the loud colors (blue, red, and yellow on the wristbands) with subtle accents (the gold logo, contrast placket), but subdued with a darker, dominant color. Extra credit for the shell spiral print on Lacko’s tee.

Meanwhile, Gulbis’ hair is almost feral.

P.S. Gulbis beat Lacko in straight sets — 7-5, 7-5. The tourney’s fifth seed next faces the winner of Beck vs. Fall. (Draw: Singles.)

(O.T.) P.P.S. He annoyed the #@*&$# out of us in Shortbus, but we can’t get enough of Jay Brannan soothing/haunting cover of The Verve Pipe’s “The Freshmen”.

(photo by TSF)

trophy watch: golubev propelled, chakvetadze returns, goerges’s first, fish extends streak

Andrey Golubev has made history by being the first player from Kazakhstan to win a title. He upset the 15th-ranked (and 2010 Roland Garros semifinalist) Jurgen Melzer 6-3, 7-5 in the final of the German Open in Hamburg.

The thirty pounds Mardy Fish lost in the last year certainly came in handy in winning the Atlanta Tennis Championships final against marathon man John Isner. The score: 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7-4). Props to him for upsetting top seed Andy Roddick in the semis and overcoming local fave Robby Ginepri in the second round. Fish also won last week’s HoF tourney in Newport — he’s looking good for the Open!

Chakky’s baaack! Former top-fiver Anna Chakvetadze bagged her first title since 2008 by taking out Sweden’s Johanna Larsson 6-1, 6-2 in the final of the Slovenia Open.

Julia Goerges beat Timea Bacsinszky 6-1, 6-4 to win her first career singles title at the Gastein Ladies in Austria. Goerges has had a good couple of weeks; she also made it to the semis of the Palermo tournament before losing to top seed Pennetta.

(ATP images via Getty; Chakvetadze photo by Ales Fevzer; Goerges photo by Matthias Hauer/GEPA Pictures)

that’s “miss fabulous” to you

Bank of the West Classic wildcard Dinara Safina, here speaking to the media a day before facing Kimiko Date-Krumm in the tournament’s opening round. Whodathunk she’d be into Disney Couture?

Follow: If you’re not doing so already, add Forty Deuce to your RSS readers (and Twitter feed) to get great coverage of the Stanford event. FYI, they’ll also be at next week’s WTA stop in San Diego, Calif.

Bracket: Safina’s in the bottom half of the draw along with Zheng Jie, Masha, and Peer. Azarenka, Kleybanova, Wickmayer, and (No. 1 seed) Sam Stosur are in the top half. (Draw: Women’s singles)

(image by Forty Deuce)

WANT: a better tennis bag

We here at TSF West cannot stop thinking about the lack of sleek tennis racquet bags for guys. The only alternative to the logo-emblazoned packs are the stuff designed for the country club set (read: for the ladies). We’d be in heaven if Jack Spade decided to jump into the fray. Hmm, perhaps we should make one of these bags ourselves?

In the meantime, given the option between an off-the-rack bag or this one with PONY HAIR, we’ll go with the latter…

Buy: Traci Bags Natural Cassia tennis bag, $695, tracibags.com

sunday survey: your summer thoughts

Novak Djokovic and Vera Zvonareva have already pulled out of their respective first stops on the US Open Series calendar. Vera won’t be popping in at Stanford for The Bank of the West Classic, and Novak isn’t heading to LA for the Farmers Classic. As the draw shows [PDF] and Chris Oddo notes, the BOTW isn’t hurting too much without the Wimbledon finalist on hand. And Andy Murray is headed down to LA to fill Djoko’s slot.

Andy Roddick is already struggling in his summer season, losing in the semifinals at the Atlanta Tennis Championships to a slimmed-down Mardy Fish. Will it be a ho-hum summer for A-Rod or will he pack at the Open like he wants to?

Sunday Survey: What do you think the big story lines will be for summer 2010? Injuries galore? Serena missing? A Delpo comeback? What woman can break away from the pack and become a favorite for the year’s last Major? And who of the men will make their claim for a Slam title in New York? Rafa? Roger? Andy(s)? It’s your turn to tell us in this week’s version of the Sunday Survey.

(photo by MartinWorster via flickr)

malisse swings for sports center’s top 10 plays

Xavier Malisse pulled a trick out of the tennis bag last night in a first-set rally against Andy Roddick at the Atlanta Tennis Championships with an in-between the legs shot. Roddick was there to pounce at the net (click image above to watch the video), and the American won the match in three sets. The shot was #9 on Sports Center‘s Top 10 Plays reel from last night.

Delpo UPDATE: In Spanish on his Twitter account, Juan Martin del Potro told his fans: “I haven’t picked up a racquet yet so I can’t tell an exact date. When I know I’ll tell you the news here. I’m improving, that’s a good thing.” (Translation via Tennis-X blog.) Delpo musta read our timeline and decided it was time to clear things up.

(screen grab via espn.com)


delpo’s comeback? a twitter timeline of the question lingering over tennis

In the last 30 hours, the web has been abuzz with news that defending US Open champion Juan Martin Del Potro, who hasn’t played a match since the Australian Open because of an injured right wrist, will make an appearance in New York a month from now to defend his title.

TSF breaks down the news and timelines of just how things panned out on Twitter and beyond.

Thursday, July 22nd, 9:17 AM – In what we see as the first evidence of JMdP’s comeback, SI writer L. Jon Wertheim Tweets:

Thursday, 9:30 AM Montreal Gazette writer Stephanie Myles responds to Wertheim’s Tweet and provides her own analysis from the news:

Thursday, 11:25 AM – The USTA releases its “provisional entry list” for the 2010 tournament on its web site.

Thursday, 11:29 AM Doug Robson, a tennis writer who regularly contributes to USA Today, Tweets that a USTA contact has confirmed that JMdP is already hitting:

Thursday, 11:50 AM – Less than a half hour later, an Associated Press story written by tennis writer Howard Fendrich appears on the web with Del Potro as the headline catch.

Thursday, 10:85 AM to early afternoon — Freelance writer Kamakshi Tandon follows the story on her account, but between her first Tweet about it (at bottom) and her last, doubt has popped in about the current status of JMdP:

Thursday, 12:04 PM – Tandon’s doubt was started by the Argentinean tennis blog, Fue Buena:

Thursday, mid afternoon Tennis Magazine writer and former Tandon colleague Tom Perrotta weighs in:

Friday, July 23rd, 11:41 AM – Esteemed tennis writer Peter Bodo posts on ESPN.com about Del Potro’s return.

Friday, mid afternoon — On Twitter, marcos_z, an Argentiean writer says that USO won’t happen for JMdP and that Bangkok is earliest return:

Friday, 2:14 PM – Fuebuena blog posts that “The Idea is Bangkok” for Del Potro’s return.

Thursday, July 15th – The last time Del Potro himself had Tweeted, saying that the doctor was happy with his progress and he would pick up a racquet soon.

The Del Potro Twitter feed is quite active throughout this timeline.

(screen grabs via twitter)

durex goes loooooong with isner-mahut condom ad

SI tennis writer Bryan A. Graham brought to our attention this new condom ad from Durex, featuring highlights from the longest tennis match at history, played at Wimbledon this year between John Isner and Nicolas Mahut. Not sure that you can last for 11 hours and 5 minutes? Go ahead and give it a try, Durex has you covered. (Literally.) Click the image to watch the ad.

More Isner: John is still alive at the Atlanta Tennis Championships as quarterfinals take place today. As is a Britney-inspired Andy Roddick.

More longevity: In Germany, Frantisek Cermak and Michal Mertinek took down Pablo Cuevas and Eduardo Shwank in the first round of doubles with a 6-3, 3-6, 22-20 (match tie-breaker) effort. 42 points is no 138 games, but you gotta give the guys props for going the distance.

(screen grab via youtube)